Tinder sexual harassment suit settled in undisclosed deal

Sean Rad still CEO but reports suggest CMO left the company


Tinder has settled the lawsuit brought by former marketing veep Whitney Wolfe alleging a catalogue of sexual harassment and discrimination at the dating app startup.

Lawyers for Wolfe told Reuters and others in a statement overnight that the suit had been resolved, but they didn’t reveal the terms of the settlement.

"Whitney's lawsuit against Tinder has been resolved without admission of wrongdoing," John Mullan, a partner at Rudy Exelrod Zieff & Lowe, said in a statement. "She is proud of the work she did as a co-founder of Tinder, which contributed so much to the growth of the app. She is now going to focus her energy and talents on some exciting new projects."

Neither Tinder nor its parent company IAC, which was also named in the suit, had responded to requests for comment at the time of publication.

Wolfe filed the suit in June, claiming that she had been subjected to repeated incidents of sexual harassment and discrimination by both chief marketing officer Justin Mateen and CEO Sean Rad.

She alleged that despite being instrumental in the formation of the company, she was sidelined by Mateen and Rad because they didn’t believe a woman was a suitable face for the app. According to her court filing, the pair even removed the title of co-founder from her because of her gender.

Wolfe said she had been involved in a relationship with Mateen and after the relationship broke down, he publicly insulted her, calling her a “whore” at a company event. Texts attached to the complaint appeared to show that both Mateen and Rad made sexist and racist comments in emails and texts about other people, while Mateen appeared to have made inappropriate comments about her personal life in texts to her.

Mateen was suspended from the company when Wolfe filed the suit in June, but Rad is still CEO at the company. A number of blog reports, including one at Buzzfeed, suggested that Mateen is no longer with the company, but this could not be confirmed.

The incident came hot on the heels of a number of other events that highlighted sexual discrimination in the tech industry, including allegations of sexual harassment at GitHub and the revelation of explicit and demeaning emails sent by the CEO of Snapchat Evan Spiegel. ®


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